As promised, I forthwith eat my unkind words about Sony from the other day. Evidently the premium gift cards are just that and not the only way that Sony is going to sell digital music. I still think they have made a pricing mistake with their gift cards, but that's just my opinion. I say buy the CD if it is going to cost just as much. I can then rip it to any bitrate and/or format I want.
Now we don't know the price, but Sony would be well advised to not charge more for their a la carte MP3 than the other labels. That is generally between $.79 and $.99 apiece. In light of the rootkit fiasco in 2005 (that seems to still be mentioned in every article about Sony DRM, this one included) there is still a lot of hate and discontent towards the company amongst the CD buying and MP3 buying public.
This time I'll wait and see what they do before I rant. I just hope they don't screw it up.